Friday, 16 August 2013

Meaningful Creation

For the last 8 weeks our intermediate school of 5 classes has been trialling a new way to tackle literacy. I say tackle, as team wide we were struggling with how to incorporate great teaching, the need to accelerate our kids learning as well as addressing the creative, fun tasks that engage and motivate the students.
The answer, we felt. lay in teaching to our strengths, small group rotation and working together.

The students are split into two streams and each stream into 3 groups - making 6 groups in total.
Odd weeks - Stream A rotate through fundamental literacy skills with 3 teachers - this means there are roughly 20-25 students in each group. Meanwhile, Stream B undertake the creative strand with two teachers. Much larger groups but less individual input required.
Even Weeks -the streams switch over - the beauty lies here.
Stream A who spent the odd week writing and reading around a specific theme and genre now have the opportunity to create an artwork, movie or animation based around their literacy.
As the teacher overseeing the animation and film creation I can often have over 50 students working with me. The engagement, self management and perseverance is evident when I have very little to do while the students are in the throws of creating.

After a week in creative strand creating movies, animations and artworks the students are ready to share - Welcome to Friday afternoon.
We have a communal space in our intermediate block named The Street. It is in The Street where we gather as a team to share the week's efforts. It truly becomes a showcase for all students and definitely a chance to show off and shine. These moments provide immense motivation to the following week's groups to work hard to better the previous creations.

As with any new innovation there are challenges.

How do we engage the students in the storyboarding and planning process?
I perceive it to be a vital literacy to be able to to plan where your creation is headed. Outlining shots, angles and themes to best tell their story or share their message, is definitely the area of literacy we are beginning to focus more strongly on.

How best to ensure that students are being reflective and getting the most from their experiences?
With only seeing children once each fortnight for a short space of time, we are currently lacking in time to effectively reflect and revisit the process from the creative week. By working closer with the other teachers in the literacy stream, we hope for the students to have the opportunity to reflect on their creations as a part of their rotation. This is something we aim to introduce as soon as possible.

TKSD Movie Room15 from Team 5 PES on Vimeo.

Rocky Wyatt Isara Shayne Love from Team 5 PES on Vimeo.